Science

Total lunar eclipse tonight

Perth residents will tonight have the chance to witness a total lunar eclipse for the second time this year.

Tonight’s eclipse, which is one in a rare series of eclipses, will be best visible from Perth and Darwin and is expected to see the moon appear red as the earth passes between it and the sun.

Perth Observatory technical manager Arie Verveer said the best time to view the ‘blood moon’ eclipse would be just before 7pm.

“As twilight disappears down, you’ll see more and more of the eclipse,” he said.

“The mid-eclipse is just before seven o’clock and the greatest part of the eclipse is just before that.”

Curtin University astrophysicist and PhD candidate Tom Russell said the eclipse helped to get the public interested in science.

“The lunar eclipse is really good because it gives the public the opportunity to see a really cool event happening nearby,” he said.

“It generates a lot of interest in astronomy and astrophysics and the public generally love it.

“You can have lots of outreach events where you show people and explain a lot of the physics that are happening.”

Mr Russell said tonight’s eclipse would be clearly visible, especially outside of the city.

“With any eclipse you need to get away from as much light as possible,” he said.

“[This eclipse] is very easy to see from anywhere because we have clear skies.”

Photographer Kitty Derpin said she would take a model to the Swan River tonight.

“I have a thing for bodies of water [and] I think the moon would look really cool reflected along the water,” she said.

“I’d probably shoot in my normal camera settings [but] take a flash along just to balance the model out on the background.”

Tonight’s ‘blood moon’ is the second in a rare series of consecutive eclipses occurring six months apart, known as a “tetrad”. The final two eclipses will occur next year.

Categories: Science

Tagged as: , , , ,